My name is Amy Hanson. I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which has a nationally recognized library system. Every week I bring my son to story time at our local branch library to read stories, sing songs, and play with friends. We can check books out to read at home, in addition to those we have in our personal library. For his second birthday, we decided to do a book drive for the African Library Project to share his love of reading with kids that do not have such easy access to books.
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You may have read our newsletter article or previous blog post about Ketelelo Moapare, who grew up in rural Botswana and was an avid reader in the library the African Library Project helped start in his community of New Xade. He became an academic superstar in Botswana, despite great odds. His remarkable journey is the subject of a new documentary, Looking for Life, "an intimate coming-of-age portrait of two young San men charting a course between tradition and modernity in the wake of relocation from their ancestral homeland in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve of Botswana."
Eighteen girls from Madison, Wisconsin learned that they have the power to change the world. They also now see that no matter how limited our resources sometimes may seem in the U.S., we are fortunate compared to circumstances in underdeveloped countries and we can always find ways to make a difference. Read the story of Girl Scout Troops #2082 and #1163 and be truly moved and inspired!
Spencer Ames, while in 6th grade at The School at Columbia University, led a book drive for Swaziland that enriched his life while enriching the lives of others. His story is inspiring for parents who are seeking a volunteer project for their family that builds compassion, a broadened worldview and leadership skills. His school is a K-8 school in New York City for children of Columbia University employees and those from the local community. With the cooperation of his school and friends nearby, he built a community of support to complete a book drive, gathering over 1,000 books for Encabeneni Primary School in Swaziland. In November 2014, Spencer spoke at TEDxYouth about how he grew from his experience with ALP. This blog is a transcript of his inspiring and heartfelt speech.